Six convicted over UK-Northern Cyprus car-smuggling racket

Gang fraudulently obtained dozens of cars in Britain before driving them to Northern Cyprus to sell illegally

From left, Martin Woodhouse, Dervish Chaglar and Mert Isik, who were jailed for between four and six years for their roles in the car-smuggling operation. City of London Police
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Six members of a gang have been convicted for stealing dozens of luxury cars in the UK and driving them across Europe to sell on the black market in Northern Cyprus.

The international gang used fake identities to obtain the cars from finance companies before removing tracking devices and re-registering them to hide where they came from.

Couriers drove the stolen cars on fake number plates to Northern Cyprus, where they were sold. Police believe they were responsible for stealing at least 120 cars, worth about £5 million (Dh22.7m).

Over more than a year, officers in London seized cars that were due to be sold by the gang, including two Audi Q7s, each worth £80,000, and two Range Rover Velars valued at £60,000 each.

Two men were jailed for six years, including Dervish Chaglar, 48, a Cypriot who used his London-based company Test Cars to try to hide the group’s criminal actions.

Detective Constable Barry Butler, from the City of London Police, said: “Serious and organised crime is a huge risk to national and, in this case, international security.”